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CURA to buy West Side property

By Rachel Molenda, Staff writer
CHRIS DORST | Gazette
The Charleston Urban Renewal Authority decided Wednesday to purchase 1601-1605 Washington St. W., a vacant building that shares a corner with Stockton Street.

The Charleston Urban Renewal Authority agreed Wednesday to purchase a property at the corner of Washington and Stockton streets on the city’s West Side.

CURA board members decided in a special closed session to purchase the property at 1601-1605 Washington St. West “for an amount not to exceed $85,000,” director Jim Edwards said.

While the building has three separate addresses and storefronts, it is all owned by Diamond Star Investments LLC.

Diamond Star purchased the building from Lacy LLC in 2008, according to Kanawha County property records.

A spokesperson for the company could not be reached Wednesday for comment.

The building has housed a variety of retail stores in the past, Edwards said. CURA will next assess what improvements need to be made to the building “with the goal of getting it back into private hands as soon as possible,” Edwards said Wednesday.

“It’s a prominent corner location on Washington and will likely stimulate some additional improvements,” Edwards said of fixing up the building.

West Side Main Street director Stephanie Johnson said Wednesday CURA’s purchase of the property is “an exciting opportunity” for the Washington Street West corridor.

The building sits on a mostly-vacant block of the Main Street corridor, Johnson said. It’s possible business could improve for stores located along the 1600-block with this purchase, Johnson said.

“Young’s Department Store has been a thriving establishment in the community for a long time,” Johnson said. “I think it’s going to be very beneficial for the future of their business along with Pile Hardware and Charleston Department Store, two other long standing family-owned businesses on the West Side. We refer to these businesses as our anchors in the community.”

That corner of Washington Street West is included in CURA’s West Side Urban Renewal Plan, which was renewed by City Council last November.

Reach Rachel Molenda at rachel.molenda@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5102.


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